POLL: What Do YOU Think About Combining Two Area Libraries?

The King County Library System is conducting an online survey (take it here), asking residents their opinion on the possibility of combining the White Center and Boulevard Park library branches into one, new, larger one.

The purpose of this survey is to gather feedback on public library programs, materials and facilities,” reads the website. “We are interested in everyone’s opinion, even if you do not currently visit the library.”

The survey then asks a series of questions, including which neighborhood you live in, if you’ve visited a library in the last 12 months, which branch you visited and so on, before asking the following question:

“One potential plan to improve library services and facilities in your area is to replace the White Center Library and Boulevard Park Library with a single, new library. This new library would be nearly twice the size, so it could offer a greater selection of items for browsing, more computers with Internet access, more space for reading and studying, and expanded programs for all ages, including children, teens, and adults.

Would you support or oppose a plan to build a new, larger library to replace the White Center Library and Boulevard Park Library?”

A bench outside the Boulevard Park library. KCLS Photo.

Deeper into it, the KCLS survey also includes this info:

  • White Center Library and Boulevard Park Library would remain open until construction of the new library was completed.
  • If the community does not support this potential plan, separate libraries in White Center and Boulevard Park would be maintained, but improvements would have to wait until the annexation of neighborhoods to the north is resolved – that could take ten years or more.
  • The new library would be centrally located, just south of the current branches and between the two communities, with easy-access for residents throughout the area.
  • King County Library System already has the funds to build a new library. This potential plan would not increase tax rates.
  • The new library would be next to a community park and close to shopping and restaurants
  • When construction of the new library was completed, White Center Library and Boulevard Park Library could become community centers to improve resident services in the area.
  • If the community supports this potential plan, selection of a location and construction of the new library could begin immediately. The new library would open in just a few years.

As we reported in February (read our coverage here), a recent KCLS report proposed a possible merger of the White Center and Boulevard Park library branches into one new, larger branch located somewhere between the two neighborhoods.

Funding for a new White Center Library and improvements to the Boulevard Park Library was included in a bond issue approved by King County voters in 2004, which is paying for new and renovated facilities throughout the KCLS service area.

The report shows that all libraries in the study area, with the exception of Kent, “exceed the System cost of $4.42 per circulated item. In contrast, half of the libraries in this study have a lower cost per visit than the System cost per visit at $8.38 per visit.”

It also projects the greatest percentage of population and total household growth will occur in Boulevard Park and Burien, followed closely by White Center.

The present White Center Library opened its doors in August of 1976, and was most recently remodeled in 1991. The Boulevard Park branch was first established in 1927. In December of 1943, it became the first library to join the King County Library System. The current building was completed in 1971.

Several area residents have let their opposition to this proposed KCLS plan be known at recent meetings, but we’re wondering what YOU, our Readers think – please take our Poll below, and/or leave a Comment:

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.


One Response to “POLL: What Do YOU Think About Combining Two Area Libraries?”
  1. Greg Duff says:

    Each of these libraries serve a vital need to the community. There is not one “central location” that will effectively serve all the residents of White Center and Boulevard Park.
    Many of these residents must walk to the libraries and moving them will cause a definate hardship. What about the schoolkids who use the libraries after school?
    The voters approved the money for the remodeling of the White Center Library now let’s see the library board do the right thing and build the library IN WHITE CENTER that they promised.

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